Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

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tipdrinker
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Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by tipdrinker » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:28 pm

I'm thinking of moving back to linux. I moved away a couple of years ago as I needed to use windows for professional video editing. But now with some great software such as DaVinci Resolve and Lightworks available for linux and also the recent PRISM contravercy has made me want to at least attempt to move back. I've been doing some research as to what distro I want to use. LinuxMint was by far my favourite when I used it but I'm worried it's not as safe as I'd originally thought. I wanted to know if linux mint is doing what's being mentioned below:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/richard-stallman-calls-ubuntu-spyware-because-it-tracks-searches/

any comment observations advice would be really appreciated,

Cheers

Kev

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kc1di
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by kc1di » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:51 pm

Mint though it is based on Ubuntu does not use unity and thus it does not have the problem of tracking searches.

It's very safe Distro.
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by TBABill » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:53 pm

While I cannot confirm any pieces aren't present in Mint, the culprit of the spyware claim in Ubuntu is the desktop within the Unity desktop environment, developed by Ubuntu, communicating with Canonical servers. Since Mint uses Mate, Cinnamon, KDE, etc., I would assume, perhaps mistakenly, that those elements do not carry over into Mint since the Unity desktop is not utilized.

It's a great question and I hope to hear from others more knowledgeable on the subject to confirm or contest what I said.

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by xenopeek » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:19 am

kc1di and TBABill are correct; the online searches some people are worried about with Ubuntu are part of the Unity desktop only. You could install that on Linux Mint if you wanted, but by default Linux Mint offers only four other desktops which don't have this online search feature of Unity. To be fair, you can easily disable the online search on Unity in its Privacy settings, or just remove the lens that does these searches. It should perhaps have been made opt-in instead of opt-out, but it is easily disabled.

Prism-break (good pun for those that watched the similar called TV series :wink:) is a good website for suggestions for those concerned about it: http://prism-break.org/. You'll note Linux Mint comes with Firefox as default browser, has DuckDuckGo as a search engine, accepts Bitcoins from donors and sponsors, has Thunderbird as default email client and has Pidgin as default chat client. All matching recommendations on prism-break. So it is a good starting point if you are concerned about these things.
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by craig10x » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:44 am

That's all quite true...in fact, i use ubuntu and simply turned off the online searches in their "privacy settings" so even on ubuntu with unity one can avoid it...though personally, i don't consider it spyware...and of course, mint uses Cinnamon as the desktop...

Realistically, It's pretty tough to 100% avoid the possibility of any NSA monitoring because you never know what websites you visit, forums, social media you belong to (like facebook, twitter, etc) in terms of whether your data is collected...so to be 100% safe...i don't mean to sound sarcastic but i think you would probably have to not get on the internet at all..
Last edited by craig10x on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by samriggs » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:12 am

craig don't forget to never use a cell phone either or debit card, would have to probably totally go off the grid altogether to ultimately avoid it.
wear a baseball cap for all the cameras everywhere :wink:
I watched the bourne Identity last night on tv lol
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by craig10x » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:50 pm

@samriggs: thanks for reminding me (lol) forgot all about cell phones, debit cards and even credit cards too...and probably some other things i just can't think of at the moment :lol:

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by samriggs » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:15 pm

ya unless a person wants to head for the hills and live off the land, it's pretty impossible to escape big brother, even then they got satellites that can probably find heat sources, well at least in the movies in they do :shock: .
There are some steps to cut it down some, but no way to stop the madness, where mankind becomes a product code.
Didn't all dictatorships start this way?
we doing it for your safety and your own good?
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tipdrinker
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by tipdrinker » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:54 pm

Cheers for the info. I'm aware it'd be pretty daft to think that I could avoid NSA snooping all together but I can certainly make it a little bit more difficult for the bastards LOL! I'm going to install lightworks and use it for a non pro project first to learn the ropes and if I'm happy that it doesn't hinder my productivity I'll go for it :-) in the mean time I've taken steps to decrease relying on google/yahoo etc and that's a step in the right direction I guess. Bit of a facebook & youtube addict tho :-(

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:35 pm

Linux Mint is now recommended also on the prism-break website. See comment from Clem for some views on what Linux Mint does and doesn't do with regards to worries about privcay: https://github.com/nylira/prism-break/i ... t-19898104
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by bkerensa » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:05 am

kc1di wrote:Mint though it is based on Ubuntu does not use unity and thus it does not have the problem of tracking searches.

It's very safe Distro.
Unless you use Firefox which Mint bundles with an Add-On that sends queries through search.linuxmint.com and injects a cookie on the way. Thats a regular Ubuntu Server running Apache and I'm sure they left the default logging on so in that case it does track :)
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by catweazel » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:20 am

Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?
100%, as long as you don't connect to the internet.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by OldManHook » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:04 pm

catweazel wrote:
Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?
100%, as long as you don't connect to the internet.
+10 to catweazel :) :)
People who should know better seem to not understand what Prism IS...
This is Data Mining...When you connect to the net you MUST send some info to your ISP...Whatever you Send is...Can be collected...
It's NOT about the OS...In this case Linux is NO better Than Windows or OS X...Your Meta Data Include...Your Sign Up Info...Search Info...Site Info...Maybe Stuff we Don't Know About....
Don't Want to be tracked by the Gov. Don't Drive...Don't Use Any Phone...Don't Get Any Mail...And most Surely DON'T use the NET.... :) :) :)
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by Orbmiser » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:11 pm

I got some of that covered. Tho being an old fart with no income to speak of.
No Home,Car,Phone. And no Checking,Savings or Credit Cards except a minimal paypal account.

But yep everybody has it wrong thinking Linux is a better OS due to Prism/NSA kind of mining.
As pointed out when on the net you are a target no matter what system OS you are using.

Now Linux is superior in protecting your system from intrusion.
But they don't need to if they just want to know what you are doing.
Credit Cards,Debit Gps phones & tablets and sloppy internet practice gives them a goldmine of info on you.
.

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by samriggs » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:12 am

OldManHook wrote: People who should know better seem to not understand what Prism IS...
This is Data Mining...When you connect to the net you MUST send some info to your ISP...Whatever you Send is...Can be collected...
It's NOT about the OS...In this case Linux is NO better Than Windows or OS X...Your Meta Data Include...Your Sign Up Info...Search Info...Site Info...Maybe Stuff we Don't Know About....
Don't Want to be tracked by the Gov. Don't Drive...Don't Use Any Phone...Don't Get Any Mail...And most Surely DON'T use the NET.... :) :) :)
yup as far as your isp there is always hotspots to avoid that or of course other ways which I won't talk about of course, but you still can't avoid your macid unless of course you use somebody's computer besides your own.
Even though I don't like it it all just seems to much of a hassle to avoid it all, just ticks me off that they create a world wide man hunt for one guy that told the truth about it when they themselves said they listen to chatter (which is listening to everything everyone does, including emails, etc etc etc), I'm sure he was sworn to secrecy being in the nsa or cia or whatever he was in, but it's not like it was really behind closed doors anyhow, just more folks know now then they did before.
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by rustguard » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:25 am

craig10x wrote:...though personally, i don't consider it spyware...
we all know big brother is watching and yeah we have to live with it. I dont like it but I still use google :(
But fact is software that sends personal information from your computer is without asking you is spyware, so unless you get a popup everytime it sends information, telling you exactly what information it wants to send and are you ok with it. it is definatly spyware. you may not mind at all, in fact some people might be happy with the service. but it is most definatly spyware. If it wasnt for attitudes like Mr stallman, I may be on the phone to india right now trying to get a new activation code for my Mint installation because I just installed a new mouse!

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by js3915 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:23 pm

https://www.torproject.org/

They have web-browser and proxy information.. If you want complete anonymity best check that sight out... Works for windoze too but god knows how in bed with the government Microsoft is or what is "phoned" home to MS servers....
Your browser still transmits some data like the type of browser your on etc and sites can still get your IP address perhaps some geolocation featuring... but running through tor would give you the bet anonymity
You wont be 100% anonymous but tor project helps maybe get you 99%

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by Spearmint2 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:12 pm

"Canonical says it can do this in a way that doesn't violate user privacy. "The data we collect is not user-identifiable"


Plug in the word Microsoft instead of Canonical and realize we've all heard this before.
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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by js3915 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:11 pm

catweazel wrote:100%, as long as you don't connect to the internet.
I heard something the other night.. I dont know the truth behind it but it came from someone who's friend worked in microsoft R&D long ago. What he would do was unplug the PC then Unplug the internet... His friend asked him why he unplugged the internet if the power was off from the PC.. He responded simply that there was a backdoor and the electricity needed to get data was very minimal or something like that then proceeded to say something like. ever wonder why the data light flashes even if the pc is off in the middle of the night...

I was half asleep when i heard this so might not be saying it right but who knows what is possible with technology these days :mrgreen:

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Re: Is Linux Mint Spyware/Prism proof?

Post by Spearmint2 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:44 pm

js3915 wrote:
catweazel wrote:100%, as long as you don't connect to the internet.
I heard something the other night.. I dont know the truth behind it but it came from someone who's friend worked in microsoft R&D long ago. What he would do was unplug the PC then Unplug the internet... His friend asked him why he unplugged the internet if the power was off from the PC.. He responded simply that there was a backdoor and the electricity needed to get data was very minimal or something like that then proceeded to say something like. ever wonder why the data light flashes even if the pc is off in the middle of the night...

I was half asleep when i heard this so might not be saying it right but who knows what is possible with technology these days :mrgreen:
Even when you turn the PC off, the USB circuit stays powered. If BIOS is set to WOL (wake on LAN) it also remains powered. It could conceivably be woken up by hit on the LAN port, access be gained, then shut back down and you never be the wiser, unless you checked the activity logs later.
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